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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  April 29, 2012 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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membership. and the purple prospects in the commonwealth of virginia. how it could come down to old dominion. and we'll sort out whether or not welfare actually works. and the politics of cool. and the ultimate campaign question. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. get ready, folks. we're on the cusp of a showdown. on saturday, president obama will kick off his bid for re-election in ohio and virginia. let the campaign strategy begin and it has in earnest this part of the campaign season, honestly always makes me think of this. >> let's get ready to rumble!
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>> it really does. game on, fighters. take a look at this ad released by karl rove's superpac, american crossroads against president obama. >> oh, yeah. >> president of the united steazy. ♪ i'm so in love with you >> oh, yeah. >> nice. >> he's a jack ass. he's a jack ass. >> obama. obama. obama, obama. obama. >> i'm not sure if that one is going to be successful. it still leaves me chanting obama. but even if at first cool isn't
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such a bad thing, the fact is, bill clinton after all did it, he did it well when he appeared on arsenio hall in 1992. after all, that was in 1992, during his first campaign when he was a challenger. the question, if president obama runs the risk of appearing, well, unpresidential. the opposition is painting a picture of an incumbent out of touch, one that's left the american people worse off than after -- than they were four years ago. if that's their strategy, it wouldn't be the first time it's been used. >> next tuesday, all of you will go to the polls, stand there in the polling place and make a decision. i think when you make that decision it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? >> that was ronald reagan and jimmy carter's only debate together in 1980, and with one line, reagan stole the show and destroyed carter's re-election bid. as the saying goes if it ain't
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broke, don't fix it, and republicans are taking page from reagan's 1980 playbook. here is mitt romney from his victory speech after sweeping last tuesday's primaries. >> four years ago, barack obama dazzled us in front of greek columns, with sweeping promises of hope and change. but after we came down to earth, after all the celebration and the parades, what do we have to show for 3 1/2 years of president obama? is it easier to make ends meet? is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? >> no. >> have you saved what you needed for retirement? >> no. >> yikes! and if that's not enough to make democrats feel a little tight around the collar, then maybe this is. >> you'd be comfortable with a romney presidency? >> i'd rather have a democrat, but i would be comfortable. i think romney has shown in the past in his previous years as a -- as a moderate, a
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progressive, that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the olympics as you know, a good, solid family man. >> don't shoot the messenger. if president carter can see redeeming qualities in mitt romney, then who is to say that voters won't see the same thing come election day. what is an incumbent president to do in order to win over voters and win back his job? here to work things are out a bunch of nerdland professionals, dorian war rehn, columbia university assistant preach. bill schneider, and anthea butler of the university of pennsylvania. i'm so happy to have all of you here, because this is it. it is general election season. here we go. bill, let me ask you, just in a very impair call way, are there americans, when they are asked the question, are you better off today than you were four years ago, will be able to answer with a resounding yes, absolutely?
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>> there are a few. mostly very rich people. most people would say, no, we're not better off than we were four years ago. but many americans are better off than they were two years ago, at the depths of the recession. they have begun to climb out of that. >> are they going to credit the republican takeover of the congress with being better now than they were in 2010? >> we have a presidential system. people think government as the person of the president of the united states. that's why four years ago question is the way it's always asked. >> because, in fact, the evidence is that presidents have less power over the economy than voters tend to think they have, right? >> yeah, but voters think the president is commander in chief of the economy. you know who is the commander in chief of the economy? nobody. it's too big, too complicated. nobody can command the american economy to do anything. >> that's why the gas price conversation is so ridiculous. bring the gas prices down.
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on an international marketplace, really? how would i do that? >> they framed the conversation when they said osama bin laden is dead and gm is alive. when they pare that with mitt romney say over and over, let gm die, let the auto industry die, then the cool factor won't matter anymore. that's the way this debate is framed. in terms of national security, foreign policy, we're safer, and in terms of the economy, we're coming out of a recession. >> i want to pause on exactly the osama bin laden question. the president is taking a lot of criticism over an ad made actually with former president bill clinton about the issue of his role in the capture or rather the death of osama bin laden. let's take a quick look at that. >> he had to decide that's what you want the president to do. you hire the president to make
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the calls when no one else can do it. >> now the critique is not really about that part of the ad. it's about sort of an assumption that emerges later in the ad, where mitt romney would not have made the same calls, we would not have been as safe. a lot of debate in nerdland about whether this is acceptable, out of bounds, but i have to say, why isn't the killing of osama bin laden like, okay, game over, and now i am re-elected. why does he have to keep reminding folks? >> he would have touted it out. let's go back to the previous president, mitch accomplission , when the mission wasn't accomplished. >> two weeks into the war. >> bye. a little bit of upset on their part because they don't have the party line. and an interesting piece in "the new york times" about how everyone has sort of, you know, discounted president obama as a
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hawk and i've said this a lot. that basically this is one of the most hawkish presidents we've had. he's not afraid to drop a bomb on anybody. >> shoot a pirate. >> right. shoot pirates, do whatever he has to do, take it to you. but i don't think the republicans know what to do with that. that's a difficult thing, because on the one hand, everybody wanted osama bin laden dead. that was something that was really big in the past. why should he get to use that this time to say i did the job that was not completed back, you know, with our previous president. that was something on the table, we did it, thankfully to the navy s.e.a.l.s, they completed the mission. >> you talked about the one liner, gm is alive, osama bin laden is dead. but i'm wondering, the president, the administration and the president's re-election campaign, here are the ten things we said where he would do that we did. health care reform, we passed it. osama bin laden, he's gone. you know, troops in iraq, nope,
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they are out. like somehow just sort of the ten points, and not that they have them, but that they somehow effectively communicate them to the electorate. >> exactly. one of the problems this administration has had is be able to succesuc succinctally s what we have done. there are these lists on the web, but we don't hear the president saying that. we don't hear the points reiterated over and over again. and that's the task on this road to the 2012 election, make sure the people know this, rather than the party lines and super pac commercials that will run ad infinitum. >> i want to ask you about the role in 2008, not so much of the campaign itself, but of what i call the political entrepreneurs or the campaign entrepreneurs that made president obama cool. i lived in chicago when he was
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my state senator and my's distinct memory was then walking into the walgreens in short shorts and cool is not the description. i want to look quickly at the will i am. >> it was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. yes, we can. it was whispered by slaves and ab ab olitionists as they blaze the trail for freedom. yes, we can yes, we can. >> i mean, it's a great speech. but the video is the thing that is virally wonderful here. >> that's right. >> will that come back in 2012? >> in 2008, he was new and inspired a younger generation. who knows will i am is, most older people don't.
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that generation is a little frustrated, because they can't get jobs, and he hasn't delivered what he promised. so i don't think he will get that kind of momentum. and he is president of the united states, that makes danchs. >> president clinton doesn't go back on arsenio hall. up next, president obama played the cool card, the comedy card, which i didn't go, because another nerdland guy was getting married, can he still get away with that? that, after the break. >> four years ago, i was locked in a brutal primary battle with hillary clinton. four years later, she won't stop drunk texting me from c cartenegna. [ female announcer ] women have made it the number one selling
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for president obama, it can't all be about the cool factor, he will have to choose an election strategy to help him win in november. we'll talk about the playbook that the republicans are drawing from. walk with me, dorian warren, bill schneider, and anthea butler, professor of religious studies at the university of pennsylvania. repulled three different possibilities for president re-election strategies. i'll run them through and see if these look like they might be reasonable. the first one, can president obama take a page from the bush/chaney '04 re-election campaign about john kerry? there are a lot of kerry/romney similarities. let's take a look at that successful ad. >> i'm george w. bush and i approved this message.
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>> in which way would kerry lead, he voted for the iraq war, opposed it, supported it, and now opposed it again. he bragged about voting for the $87 billion to support our troops before he voted against it. he voted for education reform and now opposes it. he voted five times to increase medicare, but now opposes it. whichever way the wind blows. >> obama was elected with a positive vision. this is a very negative campaign. bush got re-elected by trashing his opponent. obama, is not, by nature, a negative campaigner. he was elected on hope and change. this would be a violation of his manda mandate. >> even though he is running against someone who is labeled as flap flopper, that kind of negative campaign would backfire him. >> it would undermine the argument is that what he is
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really a severe conservative. >> right. >> although we are in a different political environment now. so even if the obama campaign doesn't use that strategy, think of all the super pacs running commercials showing, hey, romney, you were for obama care before you were against it. >> maybe the main difference, the part where we saw president bush standing there next to first lady bush, saying we endorse that, but the negative part will. that is interesting. >> and president obama is running at a sort of deficit here. all of the republican super pacs have more money. they are flooding with money. we'll see a lot of negative ads about him and i think they will have to attack and do something negative in order to catch up, even if they don't do it through democratic super pacs. if i were the president, i were running his campaign, the first thing i would do is take a giant etch-a-sketch, and i would be shaking that etch-a-sketch and
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doing all kinds of things with romney. >> fun to play campaign consultant. second ad this was a bill clinton strategy and how he was linking bob dole and newt begin rich and he was not the moon guy, the do-nothing congress guy. let's look at that. in order in addition to just income favor of the drums, can he link mitt romney to eric cantor, obstructist congress? is that will he do? >> he will link him to
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republican party which has a much more negative image that mitt romney does and stri to scare people. i'm not sure obama will do that, probably the super pacs will do that. they are all outsourcing negative ads to the super pacs. they can do it and the candidate keeps his fingers clean. >> that was negative, but felt sort of just informative. i suppose not completely in that it was a version of the war on women, republicans against women and children, that sort of thing. but it's also here is our positions. >> i think what we'll see from the obama campaign, the fact that the first congress he had from 2009 to 2010, one of the most productive in american history. you'll see the accomplishments, stimulus package. obama care, so to speak. see those and the republican party positions from romney. was against the dream act, now he's for it. >> congress got fired.
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congress repudiated by the voters in 2010. be careful. >> it's part of the surge and decline. they actually didn't get fired by the same people who initially hired them, which we'll talk about when we get to discussing virginia later. you had that shrinking of the electorate come mid terms. >> i think the other thing, you're right, they got fired, but he has to figure out an attack against the tea party. all these articles about how the tea party is dead. not quite. they are just doing something very different, becoming involved. i think it's very much a threat and he has to figure out how to tap in to sort of say, look, you people have the same concerns that people on our side have. why are you still there? you don't want this taken away, gasoline to go up. all these things where you can peel off those voters, perhaps if they can really figure out a strategy to do it. >> the tea party is not dead. they are in elected office.
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last one, president obama called himself reagan at many points. can he use the reagan morning in america, which was so effective? let's take a look at that to remember. >> it's morning again in america. and your honor tunder the leade country is stronger. why would weer want to return to where we were, less than four short years ago? >> people are beginning see a distant gleam of dawn. if you want to argue it's morning in america, there would be a huge backlash things are not that good. they are worse than they were four years ago. >> the distant gleam of dawn in america. can you see the pink sunrise beginning in america. >> but also not the bush years and we're in a different state when it comes to national
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security. our biggest enemies of the united states and he has to show images of auto workers at work. >> it may be morning in detroit. >> it's not 3:00 a.m., it's not the phone call. it's not really 4:00 a.m. it's more like 5:00 a.m. and it's like you got to show people we're ready to get back. talk about american exceptionalism, he has to take that away from the republicans and put it in a different space. >> anthea butler says it's 5:00 a.m. in america. up next, connecticut repealed the death penalty this week. california could be next. which means a quarter of the nation's death row population would be changed. a sea change on the very controversial topic. we'll dig into that very heated debate, right after the break. ♪ [ male announcer ] from our nation's networks... ♪
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and iraq aren't nations with which the united states usually finds itself in agreement, but together, those five countries, including the united states, are the most accomplished in the world when it comes to this one thing. punishing those found guilty of a capital offense with death. the overruling majority of the world's countries, more than two-thirds of them, have abolish the the death penalty by law or practice. and the most recent execution in the united states was three years ago. convicted murderer bien adams was put to death in texas. and it was execution 1,294 since the death penalty was reinstituted in 1996. connecticut has repealed the death penalty. california is looking at an initiative to replace death
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penalty with life in prison. when asked, a majority of americans said they are in favor. the death penalty forces us to look at complex questions about morality, race, economics and the legal system in our country. one very simple question with a not so simple answer. does death equal justice? joining me now at the table. vera thomas, a mother whose son is on death row in missouri. jeff jacoby of "the boston globe" and anthea butler of the university of pennsylvania and barry scheck, of the innocence project. lay out for our viewers what the implications are if the death penalty initiative in california goes forward? >> they are very significant.
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in the last five years, we've had five states repeal capital punishment, and what the supreme court ultimately looks at in deciding whether or not to invalidate capital punishment is a violation of the eighth amendment, is the trend of the states, and california is in truth the big enchilada. has more people on death row, more than 700, than any other state in the country and this ballot initiative is going to win. and the reasons have to do with what is driving the sdaet penaldeath penalty debate now. i don't think they can look at whether capital punishment is the appropriate punishment for the most heinous crimes. there is no evidence that the death penalty deters. i think we have established now beyond any doubt that there is a serious risk of executing innocent people. and it is hideously expensive.
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in california alone, over the next five years, if they keep the death penalty, it will cost them a billion dollars extra. plus every time there is a death sentence in california, it takes 25 years before there is execution. so the people that originally brought the death penalty back by amendment, a lawmaker by the name of griggs, the former warden of san quintin, they are all against it. >> thank you. that's extremely useful. i want to turn to you. jeff, you want to apologize for getting your last name wrong, jacogentleman k jacoby. there are different issues on the death penalty. whether it should occur or not, regardless of someone is guilty of a crime? whether it's too expensive? one of the most critical ones,
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whether or not the death penalty serves as a deterrent of crime? you are a supporter. give us the other side on some of these arguments? >> there is a lot of evidence and a lot of studies in recent years that draw the opposite conclusion from what barry scheck just was stating. indeed the death penalty is a deterrent. statistics galore, where capital punishment rates are repealed, murder rates climb. in this country, from the mid 1960s when death penalty was taken off the table, until the end of the 1970 stz, around 1980s, when executions began again, the murder rate exploded. from 9,900 murders to more than 21 n 21,000. look impairicly, when capital punishment is not an option, murder rates increase.
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>> i want to pause there for a second. part of the challenge obviously is we obviously have both time and the persistence of the death penalty occurring at the same time, so the climb in the murder rate or the decline in the maurd rate may have as much to do with economic factors, that kind of things. we can not always see correlation, and we have a criminologi criminologist, about 88% of criminologists disagree with you, and said we don't think that the death penalty is a deterrent. it feels like there is evidence on both sides here. >> two points. one, in the last ten years, study after study that has come out. this is an issue debated all the time. the thing that people pro and con find themselves on opposite sides. when people look at these studies, look at the evidence, for instance, cass sustein, said, boy, looking at these studies that say indeed there is
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a deterrent fak to maybe those possessed need to do some rethinking of our views, beyond all of that, as somebody who does support capital punishment, i -- my view isn't determined by whether or not it has a deterrent effect and anybody strongly opposed, even if you could prove to them it has a total deterrent effect it may not change nothing at all. if it's a moral issue, which i think for most of us on both both sides of the issue, it is. arguing about the practical effect, that's secondary. it's the moral issue comes first. >> that's an interesting point. on the question of the moral issue, regardless of what the impyrrhics show us, if this is a fundamental question of who we are as a society, where would you fall on that issue? >> i would fall on the side of i don't support the death penalty, and i do think it's a moral issue it's a moral issue because it speaks to what this nation is all about, first of all and a culture of life. and here i'm the thinking, coming out of a catholic
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tradition what that means. you take care of life at every segment. but i also think this has a lot to do with -- and people aren't willing to talk about this. the prison industrial complex and what that means for prisons to be able to house people for years and years and years on end, and especially i lived in california for a long time and it took forever for anybody to be executed and then in texas, the executions were just rolling around as regular basis, and that's my home state. so i think for us, it's a moral issue and i also think what it would mean in this country for us not to do the death penalty. and i think about the case of carla fay tucker, a classic one in texas. become a born-again christian. bush, a born-again christian. people appealed on her behalf, and i found myself sitting in a classroom with jacques jeradon. why do americans want to do this so much? and i think it is they believe in atonement, and people atone
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for their sins and they must shed blood. that's a fundamental issue for us in this country, the shedding of blood for people seems to think that's going to fix everything and it does not. does not fix it. >> and your son is on death row. >> yes, he is. >> this is not a philosophical argument for you. it's a very personal one. >> very personal. i work in a ministry, families, so i'm very concerned about human life, period, as a whole. and one of the big issues i have with the death penalty is the fact that only a selective few receive it. you have thousands of murders per day, and yet we only have about 3,000 people on death row. so there is something has to be going on with the procedures and the process by which that happens. >> that's exactly where we'll pick up when we come back. i want to talk about some of the evidence we have around the fairness and whether or not it is a fair policy. whether or not we think it's an ethical policy and whether or
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for years, we have watched jennifer hudson evolve from a young girl chasing a dream on "american idol" to grammy award winning singer, actress and weight loss spokesperson. we feel like we know jennifer hudson, so in 2008, when the news broke of the murder of her mother, brother and nephew, we grieved for her. this week, opening statements began in the trial of william balfour, the man accused of killing jennifer hudson's family. if convicted, the severest punishment would be a mandatory
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life sentence. as we follow this most tragic chapter of jennifer's life and remember the lives lost, it's hard not to watch and wonder if that is going to be enough. still with me here, vera thomas, jeff jacoby, anthea butler and barry scheck. i wanted to point out when we look at the people who actually end up on death row, the executions -- not that there are more african-americans on death row than whites. that's not accurate. it's that those who are on death row are far more likely to be defendants in a time when the victims were white. so we have a white defendant and black victim, it's dramatically different than when have you a black defendant and a white victim. so, barry, let me ask you this question. is the death penalty applied
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fairly? >> i don't think the death penalty is applied fairly this is something the american bar association has been on record pointing out a long time. just like the case of reginald clemons in missouri. everything we know that makes the death penalty unfair was going on in that case. we had lawyers that were not adequate to put on a good defense. we had a prosecutor that was running for political office who made admittedly prejudicial comments to the jury that he was admonished for by the judge, not just in this case, but in other cases. the jury itself was stacked in the sense that people who said they could impose the death penalty, even though they were against the death penalty as a matter of public policy, were thrown off the jury improperly. and there was an interrogation where he was -- everybody
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agrees, certainly injured and had all the earmarks of one of those coerced confession situations that we know has convicted a lot of innocent people. when you look at a whole record like this, and then there were allegations -- claims of procedural bars that prevented the judges from hearing all of the evidence. you look at it and say this is everything that's wrong with capital punishment in america. and it's what led judges who were for capital punishment initially like justice blackmon to say i can no longer tinker with the machinery of death. we're just not equipped, frankly to get this right. >> i know that you maintain that your son is innocent. your son maintains his innocence. >> yes, that's truth. >> as you listen to mr. scheck, that sechbs nse of unfairness, that resonate? >> oh, definitely. the things he listed are just the tip of the iceberg. so many things went wrong in that case from the very beginning where we are now, it's
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been like a roller coaster. he stated the procedure, barments, we asked for a mistrial, which i feel we should have gotten. he had the judge to give the prosecutor instructions not to use manson or gacy, the prosecutor ignored it, argued it to the jury anyway, and the judge denied his mistrial. however, about a month or two later, we proceeded to move forward with the prosecutor, for contempt of court. here the judge granted with the contempt of court with the fine. it just has been so inconsistent. >> so we grieve with and for the families of victims, but then when i hear ms. thomas' story, i wonder, do we grieve in the same way if there is reasonab to believe that there are innocent men and women, mostly men that are put to death by the state? are we willing to accept the
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possibility that we are just sometimes wrong. >> anyone human has to face the possibility that they might sometimes be wrong. great numbers of people. barry scheck has made a whole career. i admire what he has done to get innocent people out of bars. great numbers of of people behind bars, sentenced not to death but to prison, that are in prison. thousands of people taken off death row. routine, something like 8,500 people sent to death row, but as numbers showed, only 1,300 have been executed. thousands have come off as convictions overturned, sentences overturned, statutes overturned, a piece of evidence thrown out. when you talk about unfairness, don't confuse that with a philosophical or moral issue on whether or not we are going to have punishment in the first place. to say a mistake can be made and an innocent person can be punished is an argument that can't stop with the death
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penalty, it applies to all punishment. >> except that the death penalty is irrevokable in a way that other punishments -- there could still be reparation made if you make a mistake in other punishments. >> to be alive and to be dead are two very different things. tell somebody who has been behind bars for 20 years for a rape he didn't convict that he's getting reparations, there is nothing that can get those 230 years back. you brought up the question of race. a majority of people on death row are white, not black. a majority of those sentenced to death are white, not black, but a majority who represent black murder victims are black. >> sure. right. most murder occurs within race. i promise we'll come right back on this issue of racial inequality and the cost of this. stay right there. more right after the break. man: 1939 -- my parents ran across an ad for a hot dog cart.
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we're back, talking about the death penalty, we only have a little bit of time. i want to ask on the issue of cost. let me go first to you and let jeff finish up here in a few seconds that you have. talk to me just about the cost of death penalty versus the clear alternative, which is life in prison without parole. >> right. california is the perfect example. because it costs something like an extra $100,000 to keep somebody on death row in california than it would in general population. and it's just extraordinary that in that state it is estimated, conservatively, that there -- they would save over the next five years, a billion dollars, which includes an extra $400 million to build a new death row. so it's extraordinarily costly. and don't forget the opportunity costs. because you can take that money and you can put it into
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effective law enforcement, and i have to take issue for a little bit with derek. the very fact that the renational research council reviewed evidence about deterrents that there were conflicting studies and they concluded that there was no effective deterrent. >> i'll give jeff the last word on this one. >> which price tag do you put on justice? if you believe that having a death penalty as an option for the jury, not as mandatory punishment in every single case. having it available as an option is essential to doing just when a murder has been committed, what's the price tag you put on it? california has 700 people on death row, on executed 13. it wouldn't cost so much if there wasn't such superdue process. >> i am fundamentally, ethically opposed to the death penalty because it feels to me unjust, even if it were fair, fairly
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proportioned, it still feels like the state should not take a life. the final thing i would say, many of us were watching the troy davis execution very carefully. on that same night, lawrence brewer was executed for the death of james bird. and i wanted to mention james bird's family, his only son, ross, campaigned against the execution of brewer and told reuter's you can't fight murder with murder, life in prison would have been fine. we know the horror of the death of james bird, i'm profoundly moved that his son had that feeling. thank you all for being here. >> jeff jacoby. >> jacoby. anthea will stick around. we'll visit virginia. the 2012 election could come down to virginia.
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next week, president obama will officially kick off his re-election campaign with rallies in two crucial states. he'll hit up ohio and what is shaping up to be the ultimate battleground state of 2012, virginia. after 44 years of voting red for president, virginia went blue for obama in 2008. but old dominion is a lot more purple than blue. the gop controls the governor's mansion and makes up the majority of the delegation. and voters are all over the place. so to get a sense of what's on the mind of purple voters a made a stop to a local virginia beach diner, the village inn where all enjoy the great home made pies. both candidates, both parties will spend a lot of money in virginia. have you made up your mind about
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who you are going to support in this election? >> i normally vote republican, but i'm still undecided. over the years i've seen virginia swing one way and swing the other, and i believe it's because the republicans haven't put out candidate worth voting for. >> i can't predict if obama will take virginia again or not. >> urts a purple state in that way. >> i don't feel i know romney that well. if he can come in and give solid ways that he can reel in growth of government that would give me a cause to vote for him. >> there are people in virginia that are democratic and all about social issues and it's a bad misrepresentation of our governor of the whole transvaginal thing, but i think virginia will be a blue state come election time. >> you started off by telling me
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you are a republican. but you told me you voted for obama in 2008? >> yes. that's why i'm now republican. >> were you not a republican before? >> no. i was voting for him because he talked a good talk and he was telling us what he was going to change. it doesn't seem like our jobs are getting any better. >> what will it take to turn virginia blue the way it was in 2008? >> the secret is getting folks registered. if we can find unregistered voters and get them registered, and get them registered, it will just be getting out the vote. >> i don't understand how anybody else who is middle or low income, female, or a whole lot of other things can even think about putting anybody else in office. >> our president will go down in history as the best president this country has had in 60 years. >> these are military veterans
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and their perspective is -- >> the best. >> the best president. >> i feel the same way. >> are there specific things about the past four years that make you say this is not my candidate? >> we're moving in a socialist direction, and i don't believe that america was meant to be a socialist nation. >> you look at romney, you know, when he was just joking around, he said let's make a bet. $10,000, i'll bet you. throws that out there like everybody walks around with $10,000 in their pocket. $10,000 to him is probably like $100 to us, and i need $100 right now. >> and the candidate that can convince that man he can put $100 in his pocket will win that man's vote and maybe a lot more just like him. coming up, can president obama hold on to virginia this november? more on that, after the break. schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy...
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i brought folks to virginia, where i spent some time with voters at one of virginia beach's local diners, the village inn. five hours of patty melts, pie and coffee later and i had a glimpse of the array of political beliefs that make up virginia's voting rules. in 2008, president obama captured this former confederate state in his bid for the white house. but even in 2008, virginia, a state divided. see the predominantly red counties to the west and the blue toward the edges ard northern virginia, d.c. this kind of diversity was apparent in the conversations i had with voters, even when cameras weren't rolling. many expressed beliefs off democratic and republican talking points. virginia has already become a battleground. with me to talk about the voting demographics in the state for lovers is dorian warren, bill schneider, senior fellow at third way and virginia native and anthea butler, professor of
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religious studies at the university of pennsylvania. as a virginian, i'll turn to you, as a fellow virginian, bill. how important will virginia be? >> it's very important. critical swing state right on the cusp. parts of virginia are appalachia. parts of virginia look greenich village. the wealthiest area in the country is in virginia, and they have a democratic congressman. >> the appalachia areas, they actually track red on that map, right? quite poor, but where there are republicans, why are poor voters, republicans and this wealthy myse y slice, why would happen? >> an easy answer. guns. a lot of poor whites, not just in virginia, but a lot of appalachia, have traditional
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values and identify the republican party on value issues and a lot of wealthy whites have very liberal values and identify with democrats on those issues. not just economics. >> that's obviously just part of the. we're looking at a state. and literally as i was talking to people, i heard mitt romney is a flip-flopper or i heard president obama just didn't keep his promises. things that sounded directly like talking points to me. that said, can you have a unified virginia campaign strategy if you are either mitt romney or president obama? >> no. and i'll give you one example why you can't. president obama up 13 points right now among women in the state and that's in response to the backlash from women of the republican war on women. so that's one angle. he has to focus on women across race and class, but also has to focus on a large african-american turnout in the state, who voted for him in record numbers before, and the growing latino population in the state. >> the quinnipiac poll shows us
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that obama is leading 50-42%. a lot of areas being led by richmond and st. peter'sburg, virginia. latino voters and south asian voters, right? we have a senate race going on in this state, pitting two former governors, tim kaine and allen and we remember allen's comments, the slur, macaca was useful to the president when south asian voters showed up in those states. >> once he looks at the races that are going on, he also has to think about what's happened on the ground with the voters from 2008 to 2012. do you have the same amount of college voters? virginia tech, uva, all of the schools. will students be registered to
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vote? can they vote, need ids now? what do they need in virginia. i think it will be very important to get voter registration out too. without that, i don't know that he can sort of play that off. it's good to have the women, but if romney can come in and make inroads with appalachia and everybody else, that will put the state in play i think, and in a really tough way. they have to spend a lot of time in virginia. >> is it possible that the kind of bob mcdonald transvaginal ultrasound debate will be sufficient to move women who might be swing voters or republicans into the president's column? >> it might well be. it's given him a very bad image among a lot of women in virginia. the late scientists b.o.k. called virginia a political museum piece. it was very old, high bound, conservative. virginia was the only southern state that did not vote for jimmy carter. now everything changed. a huge influx of immigrants,
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young people, high-tech people, particularly northern virginia, about 20% of the state. >> when you are in richmond, monument avenue, all the confederate monuments and get the sense of being in a very confederate place. but if you're driving around the beltway. >> like greenich village. >> greenich village south. >> virginia is ground zero on affordable care act, obama care, and the supreme court could help influence who mobilizes in november. so if they strike down obama care, then i think the obama supporters will be more energized and mobilized, and those against it will sort of be deflated. if they uphold it, the tea party right in terms of republican voters will be more energized in a place like virginia especially. >> the question of the supreme court vote, how this decision might mobilize either side, we actually have an actual
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virginian who is going to join us in the next segment. i want to hold some of this, get this into the conversation with tom coming up next. later on, we're also going to talk about why catholic leaders are angry with congressman paul ryan. at quicken loans, we provide you with proactive updates on the status of your home loan. and our innovative online tools ensure that you're always in the loop. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze.
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it is great to be back in pet petersburg. last time i was here, was during the campaign. i had my bus pull over so i could get a cheese burger at long's street deli. you guys have eaten there. some of you may think this violates michelle's let's move program, but she gives me a pass when it comes to a good burger.
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>> classic retail politics. you name check the local diner. good job, president obama. that was the president during a recent visit to virginia to petersburg, home of virginia state university. although he was there on official business, he was gearing up for the campaign in 2008, then-candidate obama worked hard for the 13 electoral votes, opening up offices with campaign staffers and hundreds of volunteers to get the vote out. join us now from richmond is tom perriello. president and ceo of the sent every for american progress action funds. hi, tom. nice to see you this morning. >> nice to see you too. and nice to see the clips of you back in the commonwealth. >> that's right. i'm always happy to be there. tom, you represented the fifth congressional district in
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virginia, for a short time. and that was the district i initially group in, which is charlottesville, virginia, is part of it. and you were voted into office as a democrat, sort of during that blue sweep and then almost immediately swept back out as the state went red again. talk to me as you saw an actual representative on the ground about how you do the work of addressing a constituency just that purple? >> well, you know, it's quite diverse district in central and southern virginia. i think one thing almost everyone shares is this interest in basic economic fairness in the middle class and part of why you have seen president obama's fortunes turn back in such a positive direction in the last year and a half is that he's been so focused on the jobs bill, on a conversation about economic fairness, and i think you have seen from the other side, this interest in protecting the status quo and those at the top. and that's something that bothers not just democrats in a district like mine, but
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republicans and independents and i think this conversation about economic fairness, about opportunity, where you have seen an a discussion about student loans, you will see the president get excited again when he comes to richmond on saturday. >> whether or not we can count on the student voters to show up like they did before, and the president on his college tour, talking up the issue of where democrats stand on student loan debt, let me ask you this. you have got governor mcdonald saying the president has not kept his promises to virginia. certainly your sort of down ticket race was impacted by the president first being on the ballot and then not. how will the president's re-election in part rely on what's going on at the senate level and more local levels in those virginia races? >> well, i certainly think you have seen an enormous gender gap open up in virginia and across the country. based on what's going on on the
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transvaginal ultrasound issue, a gender gap that's significant and seeing important showdowns over the military, a big military state and decision by republicans during the deficit fight last summer to protect millionaires instead of protecting the military. didn't strike a lot of people as right in key parts of virginia. are you looking at an issue of priorities here, and people are getting a sense of what the priorities are and who he is willing to fight for. he brings the kansas spirit into virginia on richmond, i think that will play well. >> anthea was saying before the break, i love it. because governor mcdonald on everybody's short list, and pointing out the issue of the gender gap. we saw just yesterday in virginia, women's rights rallies reemerging. do you think that the governor mcdonald is a real possibility of the vp candidate? >> i think he will never be a vp
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candidate. i think he's hoping get a side gig at one of the republican national convention parties. >> the rnc parties are great. don't knock the rnc parties. >> i'm not. but i think he's in a space where he is not in play anymore. he didn't think this would go that way. i think what's interesting about the women well getting together and doing rallies what it means, women are finally beginning say, listen, our issues are very much at risk here. we need to start to think about if there are trancevaginal ultrasounds and they are you the kuyting back on birth control, the way women mobilize, behind these issues, what states are going this is going to make a very big push and a problem for republicans. not all women will think this, and the incumbent for republicans to try to get something else going for the women within their party to
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reach out to women. and right now i don't see how romney will do that. >> what about tim kaine? he was a rising star of the democratic party at a certain point. does tim kaine -- does the quality of his campaign impact the president's re-election likelihood? >> as the former chair of the dnc, i think he has some name recognition and good history in the state. but think more important than his legacy in the state is actually the state's unemployment rate. which is 5.8%. very different from the rest of the country and battleground states like michigan and ohio. it's economic indicators will play a huge deal along with the gender gap. as opposed to cane's legacy and in some ways, obama might be a hindrance to him getting ele elected. i think he will distance himself a little bit. >> and tom mentioned a fairness issue that's a very good issue, but you have to remember that republicans' core belief is that
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economic growth is sufficient. if the economy is growing, the market will take care of everybody fairly. democrats believe that economic growth is necessary, but not sufficient. you have to step in and make sure that people are treated fairly and not all of the wealth is concentrated at the top. obama has the fairness issue, but he has to provide a program for economic growth. >> tom, how important is this retail work that he has to do to make these kinds of arguments? >> the retail work is crucial. they are building a huge grassroots effort. i want to pick up on bill's point. a lot of conservatives in my part of the state that aren't convinced by mitt romney yet. they believe in the free market, they feel like the current system is pretty darn rigged between the working and middle class if a candidate can credibly convince them they are making system more fair that blaze across the board and going to governor kaine, here is somebody that does retail politics incredibly well and people are looking for the fights that move us forward, not
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relitigating fights from the past two generations, whether it's contraception or george allen's core patter on the trial and cane e& obama represent a new ren ration, saying how are we going to win the next set of jobs, how will we help virginia outcompete the chinas and indias moving forward? and there is some sense of who gets the challenges today versus who is doing too much nostalgia back. that could play not just with young voters, but those feeling economically insecure about their futures. >> tom, i'll give you the last word on our virginia question. a little counterintuitive. if you are mitt romney, or mitt romney's campaign, are you not the kind of republican that necessarily plays particularly well with virginia. how do you make the case with mitt romney to voters in virginia ? >> i think governor romney's attempt will be to try to make it about the president and not
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about himself. i think he's on weaker ground with the latter. i think he's got to come up with a plan to show some core values of a sense of right and wrong, and one of the concerns people have, they are not quite sure where he stands on things and if he comes out awe then to the table in nerdland. >> you bring it down to charlottesville. >> any old time. any old time. absolutely. >> coming up, diamonds are forever, but war lords are not. i'll tell you what teachable moment i drew from this week's conviction of lliberia's former ruler. (female announcer) most life insurance companies look at you and just see a policy.
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do you know the name charles taylor? if not, let me use this as a teachable moment. this is the country of liberia. right next to it is the country of sierra leone. both nations were in the news a lot this week, because charles taylor, a former lie pressurian warlord who later became president after the civil war he sparked, was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity. taylor, i had pressura's president from 1997 to 2003, became the first head of state to be convicted in an international court since nazi leadership in the new nuremburg trials. now, these are two install african nations, but they are not as far from us as you might think by looking at a map.
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liberia was started as a colony for former slaves from the united states. and sierra leonne was settled by great britain. the actions for which taylor was convicted occurred when he intervened in the sierra he wle civil war attempting to overthrow the government. this was not waged over ideology or freedoms, it was a war mostly about diamonds. you know, those sparklers that are supposedly every girl's best friend? well many of those diamonds are mined in war zones, like sierra leonne and more than 11 years, from 1991 to 2002, the conflict was characterized by the brutal maiming and mutilation of thousands of civilians. they funneled arms in favor of blood diamonds and used diamond to fund the war efforts.
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50,000 people were killed in the sierra leonne civil war and ten years later, many missed their education in the years of the cob flikts. the nation's youth unemployment rate is astronomical. but the victims had something to celebrate after taylor's conviction, one day before sooir sierra leonne independence day. ellen johnson sirleaf, who lost to taylor 15 years ago, was sworn in to her second term as president this year. she is the first woman to be elected in modern history and she shared the nobel peace prize last year with two other women. charles taylor's conviction won't heal everything, but things are changing. coming up, how much should we
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this week, republican congressman paul ryan, chair of the house budget committee, delivered a speech at georgetown university. he did not receive the warmest reception from his fellow catholics there. many protested ryan because of his controversial budget plan that would privatize medicare and make deep cuts to medicaid and food stamps, it's been criticized as unchristian and specifically uncatholic, and the university religious scholars made him very aware of that. thomas reece and 90 other georgetown professors signed their name to an open letter to the congressman saying in part, "we would be remiss in our duty to you and our students we did not address your continuing
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misuse of catholic teachings." this is not the first time we have seen this issue toe to toe. georgetown scholars have debated this issue on the national stage. both, of course, as we saw on the contraception issue and the issue of morality of social welfare and its utility. here to examine the social and economic utility of welfare is dorian warren of columbia university, anthea butler, and faiz shakir from the center of american progress. thank you for being here i want to go first to you. this is an in-house catholic battle what about catholics really stand for politically? >> exactly. its an interesting point. publicly, this is where i stand with the bishops on this one.
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i don't stand with them on many other things. the issue of poverty is endemic, and in an economy just getting back on its feet to not provide for the least of these, do the kinds of things that catholic teaching says about providing for the poor and i understandig looks like we have pharaoh in our midst. the faculty is again paul ryan, i think it's heinous. the other piece of this really important, is that it's not just about a moral question for catholics, it's about a safety net and that safety net that has been catholic charities and all of those things, these places are hurting for money right now, and the money does not exist in the same kinds of ways. bishops making a two-wrong market. you cannot expect our
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infrastructure to take up what you are trying to get away. we cannot be the sole people that are feeding and providing for everyone if the government decideses we don't want to be in this base anymore. >> ryan basically made this argument. he doesn't go, oh this isn't about religion. he make as a core, sort of catholic point. let's listen to paul ryan at georgetown. >> our budget offers a better path, consistent with timeless principles of our nation's founding, and frankly, consistent with how i understand my catholic faith. we put trust in people, not in government. our budget incorporates subsidiary by returning power to individuals, families, and community. >> some people may not know what subsidiary teaching is, sort of a version of federalism. people up here making decisions, but the catholic church teaches service should occur most closely to the people, and
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adhere to a kind of localism that i think is part of gop rhetoric. he came right back and said, no, no, no. actually catholicism teaches basically states rights. >> i think he is so wrong about this i can't believe he brings in thomas for this. i want to argue forever and i won't bore everyone. >> about the deep theological issues. >> we know that the people down here can't barely take care of themselves, let alone take care of each other. if you don't have some kind of distribution, that's not socialism, something has to happen, something has to give. the kind of economy we have right now, for him to make that kind of an argument and to use church teaching to make the argument, i think is really wro
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wrong. it bleeds into religious argument of religious freedom. he said something very interesting at the beginning. one thing he said. he said in my estimations how i understand it. sort of using the question of conscien conscience. people have to learn to listen to what he's saying this is not everybody else's understanding, it's my understanding. ki have that understanding. the problem, he is in the position to do things that go across this nation, and i really do think this is an awful plan. it will put a lot of burden on institutions that cannot carry the burden. >> those that are really interested in the connection between politics, the battle, the catholic flight has bn interesting. if you are not someone who is fundamentally interested in subsidiary and federalism which i can understand, talk to me about the impyrrhics of what it means to take the programs like temporary aid to needy families,
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tanef, which replaced afcd welfare and snap which replaced the food stamps fra s program. to take them from federal programs to block grant to the states what are the empirical effects? >> the states are cash straps and don't have the needs to fill a lot of its own priorities if you block grant this to states, they'll use it to reduce deficits, which means first people to get cut are, of course, those who are the least influential and powerful in politics, and that is o the case with needy families. it's important to note that a lot of these grant, conservatives like to say, well, there's a lot of waste, fraud, abuse in these programs, what you learn when you look into the programs, more than 90% of money given goes directly to the people who need it most. very little inefficiency in the program. there isn't no overhead, people aren't taking a profit here.
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they use it to drive the economy. an economic argument forgiving an extra dollar to somebody that will spend it and get the wheels of the economy moving. >> the president will undoubtedly take a lot of heat in the election cycle. we were looking at welfare stimulus, the effect of federal recession spending over the course of the past couple of years and the expansion of tax credits. lifting 1.6 million out of poverty. extending unemployment insurance, lifting approximate rch 3.4 million out of poverty. expansion of the food stamps program. he was decried as the great food stamps president. lifting one million out of policy. and it's suggesting this kind of spending has a real impact. and not only metically, just the language of welfare itself is extremely unpopular for the president. >> this budget is always -- budgets are always moral documents and that should be the
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frame. 60% of cuts in the budge rhett taking away from poor people. this means this is actually an important organizing opportunity for the labor movement, for occupy, may day is coming up, to say, hey, red america especially, you have been relying on food stamps more than anybody else, yet your own members of congress, your observe representatives are trying to cut and eliminate that safety net. what would it have meant if you didn't have that safety net two or three years ago? this is an incredibly organizing opportunity and the question, will progressive groups be able to step into window and take advantage of it. >> and that is one of the main reasons why so many women favor the democratic party. they recognize the safety net. they feel very vulnerable in the mark place and want the safety
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knelt to be there. my guess, as a result of that speech and his budget plan, paul ryan won't be on the republican ticket as the running mate of mitt romney. romney doesn't want to lash himself to the budget plan which is incredibly controversial and turn off a lot of women. >> it's important to tell the other side of the ledger, what are the values of conservatives? you see what they are putting their money on is corporate tax cuts, it's maintaining huge defense spending, and it's saying that, well, we think foods stamps is fraud. and front cover of "the new york times," have you a company dodging taxes in the united states. we have them protecting hedge fund loopholes. people dodging taxes across the united states. that's where the fraud is. talk to me about fraud, talk to me about health insurers kicking people off health coverage who need it. this conversation of who is the -- who is government
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supposed to protect, is ultimately the question we should be asking ourselves and in that ledger, we have to protect those who can't protect themselves. >> as soon as we get started, we'll talk about the rate of poverty ballooned right after we ended welfare as we knew it. more on that, after the break. and we are talking about activia. i've been eating activia and i feel great! i'm used to having irregularity. i feel like that's normal. if you are not feeling like trying this on, that's not normal. activia helps with occasional irregularity when eaten 3 times a day. feeling regular to me was a new feeling... i came to find my 'new normal' and i love it! ♪ activia and try new silky, fruity activia harvest picks. another way to enjoy activia. yeah, but the feeling wasn't always mutual. i should be arrested for crimes against potted plant-kind. we're armed, and inexperienced. people call me an over-waterer. [ female announcer ] with miracle-gro,
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when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. [ humming ] here with me at the table discussing the contemporary fate of the welfare state is dorian warren, bill schneider, anthea butler and faiz shakir. digging around numbers, this one absolutely blew me away. from 1996 to 2011, the number of u.s. households living on $2 a day went up by 130%. so 1996 is welfare reform, ushered in by a democratic president and a republican congress, ending welfare as we
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know it. on the back of, faiz, welfare queens, people stealing and taking from the system. and the impact is 130% -- i don't know if it's the impact. the correlation of it. 130% increase in the number of u.s. households living on $2 a day. >> you know what we did during the 90s with these numbers? reduced poverty and reduced the deficit.simultaneously, that you can do that. they think of it as a zero-sum tradeoff. with do your priorities lie? john boehner on an alternative network talking about mitt romney's wealth and saying american people don't want to vote for a loser, suggesting, well, if you don't have wealth, if you're not at the totem pole, you're a loser. that governs the ethic of how republicans view those who are
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not pulling themselves up by their boot straps and succeeding. and the president said i want somebody with elm patty. he wants somebody that will look out for people on the bottom. we can't have that. and there was a firestorm about the fact that we would have an empathetic person in a position of power. >> the key to that phenomenon is growth. if the economy is growing, as it was growing in the late '90s, you can solve poverty, reduce the deficit, perform miracles. democrats believe growth has got to be necessary, but it's not sufficient. you also have to have measures to ensure fairness. >> growth is necessary, but not sufficient. there was growth in the economy, but in the low-wage sector. we were forcing people -- when we weren't locking people up, we were forcing people into low wage jobs, there is an issue of wage theft. even if you work at a job, you don't get paid often for the 40 hours, if you get the 40 hours. >> they don't want to pay you 40
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hours, because then they have to pay benefits. >> we're pushing people into the low-wage market, because people need to work, but people can't survive on the wages they receive. >> let's talk about those who passed the 99 weeks, not getting unemployment, not getting food aid, where do they go? i tell students, it's like this circle. we'll cut this, cut this but we want to reward the paelt wealwe top, and you keep increasing that number on the bottom, and you are saying you will not do anything to take care of them, where will they go? this is where anger begins to rise up. even republican people who think they want to vote for these guy who's say i want to increase wealth, they can't rise to the same wealth that a mitt romney has. never will be able to. inherited. they can't leave anything to their kids. >> but if feels like even among the poor, among working place, the american work ethic that
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says, yes, we want people to take care of themselves, but we truly want them to take care of themselves, right? it does feel to me like in all of the folks that i talked to across parties, that there is a bit of a pushback against the idea of the american welfare state. >> this is where fairness issue comes in. fairness works when the economy is terrible, and the middle class says i'm struggling to make ends meet. people who are good, hard fearing americans like me are having trouble. there must be something wrong with the system, it isn't fair. when the economy is good, the fairness issue doesn't work. >> for every dollar we give out in food stamp programs now, we get -- for $1.73 worth of economic activity, it's good. >> stop. tell me why. if i'm not an expert, why when i
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get $1.73 in food stamps do i get -- >> simple economics. if you give that person an extra dollar or $5, what will they do? they'll go spend it. the engine of the economy turns. people will produce more, more service in the economy. >> so we create consumers by giving people food to feed families, we create consumers. >> we had an eitc, earned income tax credit, where we give money to poor people and we end up getting the money back into the federal treasury. so these are good investments, productivity and growth side, when have you hunger, you lose 1$170 million in productivity. when you have child poverty, you lose $500 million in the economy in productivity. these are obvious to people who can empathize with the fact that if you are hungry, you cannot learn. if you are hungry, you can't work if are you sick and have a child at home, you cannot go and
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be productive. these are obvious and sensible economic investments, and we can make that case. >> i want to make two quick points. first is, of all rich democracies in the world, we are the least mobile society, right up there with the uk. you're more likely to stay in your class position now than 10, 20, 30 years ago. the myth of the american dream, the american dream is now a nightmare. we don't have mobility, people can't move up. in terms of the budget, we have a two-year experiment, it's called europe. england in a double dip recessi recession. greece, spain, ireland, all of these countries have done exactly what paul ryan wants to do. >> austerity. >> cut it, cut it, cut it. >> especially cutting social safety nets on the poor and working class. we have a two-year experiment, and it has not worked. >> austerity experiment failed
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on two grounds. it was supposed to increase confidence on the investor community. it has not done that. spain had austerity and their credit rating was reduced. and sarkozy may lose as the president of france next sunday and the government has fallen, spain, italy, greece, portugal, ireland. >> i love bill for bringing us the big view in a few minutes, i will ask how the riots in los angeles 20 years ago battle ove being cool. how is that going to play out in november? and will the new approach by the romney campaign change anything? behind the scenes, you've heard the jokes, but what really went on at the white house correspondents dinner. the fight to save the u.s.
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postal service. it may mean closing some locations -- or not. and the next generation of american, what is that group going to be called. you've heard of gen x and gen y, what the group will be called, coming up. >> you look fantastic for what must have undoubtedly been a late night. >> yeah. up next, the l.a. riots 20 years later and what we have learned. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪
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[ lauer ] this is our team. and unlike other countries, it's built by your donations, not government funding. and now, to support our athletes, you can donate a stitch in america's flag for the 2012 olympic games in london. help raise our flag, add your stitch at teamusa.org. we, the jury, find the defendant, lawrence m. powell, not guilty of the crime of the assault. not guilty. these two words spoken from a california jury box 20 years ago, on april 29th, touched off five days of rioting in los angeles. mobs set fire damaging more than 1500 buildings, destroying 1200 businesses. and causing more than $1 billion in property damage. thousands were arrested, more than 50 people were killed. more than 600 injured.
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the riots erupted because the shock of the injustice was so great. americans had watched, with their own two eyes, as los angeles police officers surrounded rod i didn't king and delivered blow after sickening blow with their nightsticks. most of them delivered by officer lawrence powell. and the verdict felt like an assault on our very reason, not guilty -- how can that be? after what we all saw? and the rage, though misdirected through rioting, was righteous. it was directed at a system of police brutality. official misconduct and an unjust legal system. and then the horrifying beating of a truck driver, reginald denny, all caught on tape. reginald denny, pulled from his cab at beaten nearly to death by four rioters. this is him after he recovered. suddenly, the tone changed. this single act of interracial
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violence directed against an innocent white man sapped the strength of an ethical argument that had been laser-focused on the misuse of state power. the focus was, not at the police, it was can't we all just get along. while getting along is an important goal, the violence that rodney king and so many black men have suffered at the hands of police, is not about our interpersonal reactions, it's aboutle pois is, practices and power of the state misused against those who lack recourse to justice. 20 years later, as we watch the wheels of justice turning slowly, haltingly, imperfectly in the trayvon martin case, i'm reminded that we remain on the precipice of disillusionment that could transform to violence. the 20th anniversary of the l.a. riots remind us how important it is to guard against that turn. civil rights activists bayard rusten, who was the architect to
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the march on washington and the mentor to dr. martin luther king jr. explained, our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. our aim is do create the kind of america legislatively, morally and psychologically, such that even though some continue to hate us, they cannot openly manifest that hate. and that is our show for today. thank you to dorian warner, bill schneider and thea butler for sticking around and thanks to you for sticking around. joining us next sunday, the ground-breaking ballerina, misty copeland will be here. coming up, "weekends with alex witt." [ female announcer ] women have made it the number one selling
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